Maggy Hawk Afleet Anderson Valley Pinot Noir 2017
Afleet was made using a blend of 25-30% whole cluster fruit, which adds an additional layer of depth and flavor. The winemaking team vinified three of the older blocks in the Maggy Hawk Vineyard separately, designating one whole-cluster lot and one destemmed lot from each block. It was aged in 27% new French oak before the final blend was assembled.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Vibrant ruby color with a ripe cherry nose; velvety and rich with dense flavors of cherry and raspberry. Lush yet mellow and balanced.
Made with about 30% whole cluster and aged in 27% new French oak, the 2017 Pinot Noir Afleet is medium ruby and opens with red cherry coulis, roasted cranberries, black cherries, loamy earth and tree bark with nuances of amaro, dried citrus peel and tea leaves. Medium-bodied with a silky texture, it offers great intensity in the mouth with gobs of spicy, orange-peel accents. It has a frame of well-woven freshness and finely grained tannins, finishing spicy. 353 cases produced. Rating: 91+
Situated adjacent to the redwoods and one of the last vineyards before one reaches the Pacific, the Maggy Hawk vineyard is located in what many refer to as the “deep end” of Anderson Valley. The vineyard contains a complex patchwork of different facings, slopes and clones, all of which conspire to provide a dazzling array of different Pinot Noirs.
The soil is comprised of decomposed sandstone, known for exceptional drainage and low nutrients, both critical to the development of naturally balanced vines.
As one might expect, yields are controlled by Mother Nature in this setting; in most years, the Maggy Hawk vineyard provides no more than two tons per acre.
Adversity often brings greatness to Pinot Noir, the most difficult of grapes to master. Greatness also arises in champion racehorses, something Proprietor Barbara Banke recognized and celebrates in the gifted Maggy Hawk, a winning thoroughbred honored with this Pinot Noir effort from the deep end of Mendocino’s Anderson Valley, mere moments from the Pacific Ocean.
Each wine in the series is named for a horse born to Maggy Hawk: Jolie, Afleet, Stormin’ and Unforgettable, and to her sire, Hawkster. The unique expression borne of training, bloodlines, site and alchemy applies equally to wine and horses – Pinot Noir and thoroughbreds in particular.
Anderson Valley, located in Mendocino County just above Sonoma County, is one of California’s coolest AVAs, allowing it a long growing season. Only 15 miles long, the region makes a slice eastward through the mountains, from the frigid Pacific Ocean. Dramatic diurnal temperature variations here preserve grape acidity and thus freshness in the finished wines. These are prime conditions for growing Pinot Noir, and the valley produces many fine versions. Characteristics of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir typically include crisp acidity, cranberry and strawberry notes as well as earthy notes of forest floor and mushroom.
Still Pinot Noir, however, is only part of the story. Pinot Noir, along with Chardonnay, are also grown for Anderson Valley’s exceptional sparkling wines. Produced via the traditional method, these offer a classic toasty note from lees aging, bright, complex fruit notes and a clean, refreshing character.